Can a 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Keep up With a 1400-Hp Hoonicorn?

The Shelby GT500 Mustang is undoubtedly one fast Ford. And it more than lives up to its classic forebearer’s legacy. But it’s not the only quick Mustang. Racer and drifter Ken Block has crafted his own super ‘Stang: the Hoonicorn V2. So, does the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 have what it takes to keep up?

The 2020 Shelby GT500 and Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2 are two flavors of crazy Ford Mustang

The front 3/4 view of a red-and-black 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 front 3/4 | Ford

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is certainly no slouch in the horsepower department. Under its hood is a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 rated at 760 hp and 625 lb-ft. That output goes to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GT500 also has standard launch control, multiple driving modes, adaptive suspension, and Recaro seats, Roadshow reports. Plus, an optional Track Package that adds extra aero features, carbon-fiber wheels, a rear wing, and track-oriented tires.

However, the Shelby GT500 is actually faster on the standard tires, Car and Driver reports. On the track tires, 0-60 mph comes in 3.6 seconds, while the street tires drop that to 3.4 seconds. And on the street tires, it runs the ¼-mile in 11.4 seconds.

The camo-and-stickered 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2
1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR V2 | Hoonigan Racing

Ken Block’s 1965 Ford Mustang Hoonicorn RTR, aka the Hoonicorn V2, is a bit more extreme, though. It’s a follow-up to the original Hoonicorn, which had an 845-hp 6.7-liter V8. The latest version, though, has a 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which thanks to methanol injection, makes 1400 hp, MotorTrend reports. Oh, and the dual exhausts exit from the hood. And that’s just the start of the madness.

As with the original, the Hoonicorn V2 has carbon-fiber body panels laid out over a custom tube-frame chassis. The entire body is reinforced, the chassis is seam-welded for strength, and the car rides on custom ASD suspension. The inside is stripped down, featuring little more than a roll cage and Recaro racing seats. Unlike the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the Hoonicorn has a 6-speed sequential manual transmission. And instead of RWD, Block’s car has AWD.

How did these two cars race?

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The Hoonicorn V2 has already dispatched several production-spec and modified cars, Road & Track reports. It’s beaten the McLaren Senna and the Ford GT, a four-rotor Mazda RX-7, and even an actual drag-race car. So, it may seem like it’s the Shelby GT500’s race to lose. Especially since it weighs about 1100 pounds more than the Hoonicorn.

Or, rather, races. The Hoonigan team had the two Mustangs compete in several 1500-ft (roughly ¼-mile) drag races. First, from a standing start, and later in a rolling race, similar to the previous Hoonicorn races, Motor1 reports. And to give the Shelby the best possible chance, it would be the one rolling, not Block’s car.

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Does the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 even have a chance? On paper, it doesn’t seem that way. However, it does have launch control. And even though sequential transmission can be shifted quickly, a computer’s reaction time out-paces a human one. Plus, AWD cars can sometimes be tricky to launch, due to their extra traction.

Did the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 keep pace with the Hoonicorn V2?

Turns out, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can keep up with the Hoonicorn V2. Provided it has a few advantages.

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From a standing start, the Hoonicorn simply walked the Shelby, due to its weight, power, and traction advantage. However, with the GT500 getting a rolling start, it managed to beat Block’s car. But the first time the team tried the rolling start, it turned out the Hoonicorn was running out of fuel. Yet even with the Hoonicorn’s tank filled, the Shelby managed to eke out a win with a rolling start.

So, yes, the Shelby GT500 can keep up with the Hoonicorn V2. But only if the latter is standing still at the time.

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